the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
5, Number 2, August 2012
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Development and Education News
Careers Conference, University
of Wisconsin-Madison Center on
Education and Work, January
The Concourse Hotel, Madison.
DEVELOPMENT and EDUCATION NEWS
American Council 0n Education/Coalition for International Education
(ACE/CIE) is celebrating the 50th anniversary
of the Higher Education Act–Title VI and Fulbright-Hays
programs. These programs were created by the federal government
in 1958 and 1961, respectively, and they marked the beginning
of a major U.S. commitment to devote new attention to the rest
of the world.
the decades, this federal government–higher education
partnership has built a foundation for internationalizing the
U.S. education system, an imperative that has now become a vital
part of our preparation of current and future students and employees.
here to watch videos on
what the programs are about and to learn about some outstanding
STEM Master Teacher Corps
On July 17, the Obama Administration announced a plan to create
a national Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering (STEM)
Master Teacher Corps. With $100m in start-up funding from the
federal Teacher Incentive Fund, the program will begin in 50
locations across the country, each with 50 STEM educators. Pending
Congressional approval of additional funding, the Administration
believes the program can expand over the next four years to
include 10,000 STEM teachers. STEM master teachers would make
a multiyear commitment to the STEM master teacher corps and
would receive an annual stipend.
the White House press release
on the STEM Master Teacher Corps and the Administration's other
initiatives in STEM education.
seems that, at last, the role of community colleges in higher education/workforce
preparation is showing up more frequently in media discussions. Long
overlooked for its uniqueness and value, the American community college
(a unique invention with the dual mission of transfering students
to university programs, and skills development for the less academically
focused) is now being championed and celebrated. However, controversy
and confusion are also common in these discussions.
Community Colleges Down (Richard Kahlenburg,
Innovations--The Chronicle of Higher Education
7/10/12) is a response to the article Filling
The Skills Gap in the New
York Times (Joe Nocera, 7/2/12) in which Nocera
refers to community colleges preparing workers for "middle
skill jobs rather than "preparing them for university degrees".
Given the enthusiasm with which employers snap up graduates (or
even pre-graduates) from high-tech training programs and their bemoaning
the need for more such programs in the community colleges, it seems
that there is still confusion about how valuable a community college
certificate or degree is. And there also appears to be ignorance
of the great start to a university education that community colleges
provide for tens of thousands of low-income students and career-changng
adults who otherwise would not have access.
is clearly an awareness/marketing issue here that must be addressed
quickly and thoroughly by educators before the media becomes entrenched
in its misunderstanding.
is a program that is getting quite a lot of
exposure lately. In fact, it was a visit from Gerald
Chertavian, the creator of the
program that sparked the Joe Nocera article mentioned above. Year-Up
is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 with the mission to "close
the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills,
experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential
through professional careers and higher education."
this year, the New York Times presented
Try to Match the Jobless with 3.4 million Jobs, (Shannon
Jensen, 2/29/12). Featured in the article are Northern Virginia Community
College (NOVA), Miami Dade College, NYU, Rutgers University. and Sinclair
Community College in OH, each of which offers creative programs to
assist often well-qualified adults to get into the workforce in well-paid,
highly-skilled careers. Many schools (like NOVA) are taking new and
exciting approaches to adult education through continuing education
programs. With quotes from employers, college presidents, and President
Obama, this article is a useful one to keep on hand to aid in the
marketing of the value of your programs.
Corbett Broad, President, American Council on
Education, recently asserted her personal belief in the value of the
personal and societal benefits of higher education, despite rising
College Costs into Context, 4/16/2012).
this recent paper,
the Council provides us with a solid baseline of information that
we can use as we struggle to solve the problem of rising costs of
higher education. Data show that, when
financial aid is factored in, for most Americans, higher education
is affordable. However, Dr. Broad also states that "affordable"
does not mean inexpensive.
A review of rising tuition costs alone may be misleading because the
financial landsape for college administrators includes many factors
that the media gloss over. For example, one of the rising costs involves
hiring well-qualified, in-demand professionals to teach cutting edge
courses. It is difficult for unversities to compete for these people
against the private sector. Here
is a sample of the detailed information included in the paper:
published tuition prices rose, financial aid from institutional
and federal sources also increased. Therefore, the net tuition
actually paid by students did not increase as rapidly as the published
• Over the five years from 2006–07 to 2011–12,
published tuition for public, four year colleges increased by
22 percent (or $1,800), community colleges by 12 percent ($448),
and private, nonprofit four-year colleges by 14 percent ($3,744),
adjusted for inflation.
• Over this period, after taking into account grants and
education tax benefits, the estimated average net tuition (adjusted
for inflation) decreased at community colleges and private, nonprofit
four-year colleges by $840 and $550, respectively.
average net tuition increased by just $170 at public, four-year
campuses after inflation, compared with the $1,800 increase in published
- A companion
Anatomy of College Tuition (ACE, 4/16/2012)
offers an even more detailed look at this issue.
education system has become culturally cohesive, rewarding and encouraging
a certain sort of person: one who is nurturing, collaborative, disciplined,
neat, studious, industrious and ambitious. . . People who don't fit
this cultural ideal respond by disengaging and rebelling." So
writes David Brooks (Boy
Crisis in Education, NY Times,
7/7/2012) who goes on to point out that
"many of the people who don't fit in
are boys." For several decades, data have been mounting
to support this statement and now by 12th grade, male reading test
scores are far below female scores, 11th grade boys are writing at
at the same level as 8th grade girls, and the math/science gap that
used to favor boys is now almost completely gone. Men make up just
40% of college students and over the last decade, 2 million fewer
men have graduated from college than women. And this is not just an
American problem. All 35 member nations of the OECD report that boys
are falling behind.
and the Community Colleges (The Chronicle
of Higher Education, 7/2/2012). In this article, Thomas R.
Bailey supports community colleges as essential to the solution of
making higher education accessible to everyone, thereby reducing inequities
between low-income students and others. He notes that most four-year
institutions are becoming even more selective and are unlikely to
open their doors to all-comers, and so, given that as college degrees
become a prerequisite for jobs that pay a living wage, "community
colleges fill an ever more crucial role in our economy." While
currently fewer than two-fifths of the students who start in community
colleges go on to complete a degree or certificate within 6 years,
Bailey believes that with enough improvement in their overall performance,
community colleges can become an attractive alternative for upper-income
Tests and the Development of Math Anxiety (Education
Week, 7/3/2012) is a commentary by Jo Boaler, a professor of
mathematics at Stanford University and the author of several books
on math education. In it, the author postulates that based on research
that indicates that timed tests are "the direct cause of the
early onset of math anxiety", we should take a look at the impact
of how this type of testing "transforms children's brains."
The author also states that schools in the US have reduced the purpose
of mathematics to "the ranking of children and their schools."
recent study by Elisabeth Gareis, an assistant professor of communication
at Baruch College in NY, indicates that one in three foreign students
have no close American friends. Students from East Asia and particularly
China report greater dissatisfaction than do other international students.
The article International Friendship: Effects
of Home and Host Region was published in the Journal
of International and Intercultural Communication. Karin
Fischer reports on the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education
, Anthony Carnevale (The
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2012) points out that,
while sorting by race, class, and sex begin for most students long
before their college years, sorting continues in higher education
in terms of what kind of college a student attends, whether they graduate,
how much post-graduate education they receive, and what a student
majors in--these are all decisions that make a difference to later
addition to the three WK assessments used for the CRC, the
NCRC Plus includes evaluations that rank individuals
in the following soft skills categories:
Productivity and dependability
Teamwork: Tolerance, communication,
Customer Service Orientation: Interpersonal
skills and perseverance
Managerial Potential: Persuasion, enthusiasm,
and problem solving
NCRC Plus ranks individuals with 1–4 stars in each of the categories
listed above. Higher numbers of stars reflect personal characteristics
that indicate stronger inclination for success. These
rankings do NOT CERTIFY skills but they may be useful to potential
employers. Individuals can earn the NCRC Plus by taking the WorkKeys
case the information would be useful to you, an additional column
has been added to the CRC
matrix on the Consortium web site reflecting the number
of NCRC Plus awards issued by state. The numbers in the last column
(in blue) are inlcuded in the other reported numbers of CRCs issued.
latest TOP 10 list on
the issuance of CRCs and NCRCs is as follows:
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NOCC, August 2012